Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube yesterday unveiled in Parliament a $927, 3 billion 2022 national budget and said that the economy was expected to grow by 5.5 percent.
Minister Ncube said the projected growth of the economy would be anchored by strong performances in the mining, agriculture and tourism sector.
“In 2022, the economy is projected to grow by 5.5%, underpinned by higher output in mining, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, as well as the accommodation and food services (tourism) sector,” said the Minister.
The Finance Minister warned that the expected economic growth was subject to risks relating to the future path of the (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on key sectors of the economy.
The budget presented under the theme: “Reinforcing Sustainable Economic Recovery and Resilience” saw infrastructure receiving $156, 4 billion, while women and youths ministries were allocated $4, 7 billion, and $7, 8 billion respectively.
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development received the highest allocation that amounted to 12.8 percent of the total budget as it was allocated $124 billion. The Ministry of Health and Child Care got the second largest chunk of the budget as it was allocated $117, 7 billion translating to 12, 2 percent.
The budget also allocated $61, 5 billion to the Ministry of Defence, while the Office of the President and Cabinet got $32, 3 billion. Parliament and the Social Welfare Ministry were allotted $14, 6 billion and $19, 4 billion respectively.
Minister Ncube took a swipe at the parallel market for derailing inflation decline measures being implemented by Government and vowed to keep fine-tuning monetary measures to maintain stability. He added that the country was targeting small budget deficits and a sharp drop in inflation in the coming years.
Minister Ncube said that annual inflation was expected to end the year between 52 and 58 percent, up from the revised target of between 25 and 35 percent that was previously projected.